Yesterday’s New Moon was in the Gate of the Young Fool. The key idea of this gate is that not knowing brings success. I’ll repeat that – NOT knowing brings success. Does it sound a bit counter-intuitive? Surely the more we know, the more successful we are?
There’s a deeper issue at play here. As a culture we have put so much credence on knowing everything that we’ve forgotten to have clear and actual experiences without the intermediary of our mind.
Our minds, in a bit of a panic at having been left in charge so long without any backup support from our emotions, our intiution and any connection whatsoever with our higher guidance system (well, not you of course, but speaking generally) have become quite beside themselves and lost the plot. Rather than trust in the simplicity of our own experience, our own natural unmediated responses to life, we have made other plans and concocted other (entirely illusory) realities.
We only have to watch the political landscape, particularly in Australia and the US, to see what’s raining down upon us. So much ridiculousness it’s hard to choose what to poke a stick at!
This week, our ability to continue to live in this artificially constructed personal and collective reality is tilting on it’s axis. Have you noticed you’ve been doubting thoughts that a few weeks back felt quite comfortable? Our individual and collective mental reality has become so distant from actual reality that it is breaking down and becoming just too ludicrous.
Because we have been taught that it’s shameful not to know, we have learnt all kinds of subtle mental acrobatics to cover ourselves. Here’s a phrase you could try out over the next few days – Actually, I don’t know. And then sit in any discomfort that arises.
As the I Ching reminds us, abstract concepts break down in the face of concrete reality, and learning comes from being available to actual experience. If we approach our lives with a stock of ready made answers we are too busy congratulating ourselves on our amazing unsinkable ship to notice the approaching iceberg. Or, to use another cheerier analogy, too busy checking our smartphone to smell the roses or hear the bird song.
I’m reading a fabulous book by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Louv talks about the difference between having a direct (and sometimes risky) relationship with nature and, let’s say, liking a picture of a beach or tree with a pithy quote on facebook. But it’s not just nature we strip down when we live conceptually and virtually. The people in our lives become an exact copy of our ideas and what we already know about them, rather than an intriguing and constantly evolving human being. We lose them as individuals and live instead with the concept of who we believe them to be.
Make the next few days a period of radical not knowing. “If you have a sense of losing your centre, this is a sign that you’re seeing the real world more clearly than before.” (Hilary Barrett)
A new time is coming. The form of our lives must shift to better represent our essence. Be available, not conceptual.
First Image: https://vk.com/chudesnosti
Second Image: Anna Silivonchik